With technology growing exponentially, automotive innovations follow suit. Self-driving automobiles are just around the corner, but for those anxious to leave the ground, a flying car is not far off.
Yes, there are several plans in the works for flying cars of various descriptions.
Aeromobil, based in Slovakia, is working on a two-seater roadster and says this sports car/aircraft is roughly two years out.
Company co-founder Juraj Vaculik said they’re hoping to launch this vehicle in 2017.
The limited edition vehicle will be targeted at those wealthy enough to afford supercars and aircraft. The company says it will have a range of roughly 700 kilometres and run on regular gasoline. A parachute and auto-pilot feature are standard equipment.
The prototype of Aeromobil’s vehicle drives, flies and can take off from a relatively short, 200-metre grass strip. The company is planning a fully automated driving and flying vehicle.
Vaculik has said that flying cars would be ideal for trips of up to about 640 kilometres where travel time to and from the airport, along with security checks, can currently double travel times by air.
Such vehicles would also be ideal for accessing remote locations.
Ultimately, they may reduce traffic congestion and gridlock, something most modern cities struggle with.
Aeromobil first drew attention when they unveiled their vehicle in Montreal back in 2013, and in Vienna in the fall of 2015, they displayed their advanced prototype.
Regulations, laws, restrictions and all sorts of certifications yet still to be ironed out, which may prove to be the biggest hurdles in getting these machines off the ground.
The company reports they have received strong support from the European Union.
The European Union wants to make the dream a reality, researching the feasibility of small commuter air vehicles to ease the world’s traffic congestion.
Under a four-year project, the EU has drawn together six institutes from across Europe to examine the challenges associated with commuting in personal aviation vehicles (PAVs). It’s noted it’s not so much building the vehicle, but dealing with the regulations.
Again, the idea for PAVs is to make them totally autonomous, needing no piloting at all.
While self-driving cars are already available, it may be some time before we see dealerships offering PAVs.
While the technology is new, the concept isn’t.
The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War. The Avrocar intended to provide the necessary lift and thrust from a single “turborotor” blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer.
Originally designed as a fighter-like aircraft capable of very high speeds and altitudes, the project was repeatedly scaled back over time and the U.S. Air Force eventually abandoned it.
Written by: Mark Pavilons
Photos Courtesy of www.aeromobil.com